Aldus Manutius

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Manutius, Aldus:

see Aldus ManutiusAldus Manutius
or Aldo Manuzio
, 1450–1515, Venetian printer. He was educated as a humanistic scholar and became tutor to several of the great ducal families. One of them, the Pio family, provided him with money to establish a printery in Venice.
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Aldus Manutius

(ăl`dəs mənyo͞o`shəs) or

Aldo Manuzio

(äl`dō mäno͞o`tsyō), 1450–1515, Venetian printer. He was educated as a humanistic scholar and became tutor to several of the great ducal families. One of them, the Pio family, provided him with money to establish a printery in Venice. Aldus was at this time almost 45 years old. He devoted himself to publishing the Greek and Roman classics, in editions noted for their scrupulous accuracy; a five-volume set of the works of Aristotle, completed in 1498, is the most famous of his editions. He was especially interested in producing books of small format for scholars at low cost. To this end he designed and cut the first complete font of the Greek alphabet, adding a series of ligatures or tied letters, similar to the conventional signs used by scribes, which represented two to five letters in the width of one character. To save space in Latin texts he had a type designed after the Italian cursive script; it is said to be the script of Petrarch. This was the first italic type used in books (1501). Books produced by him are called Aldine and bear his mark, which was a dolphin and an anchor. Aldus employed competent scholars as editors, compositors, and proofreaders to insure accuracy in his books. Much of his type was designed by Francesco Griffi, called Francesco da Bologna. The Aldine Press was later managed by other members of his family, including a son, Paulus Manutius (1512–74), and a grandson, Aldus Manutius (1547–97), who was best known for his classical scholarship.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Manutius, Aldus


(Aldo Manuzio, Aldo Manucci). Born circa 1450 in Bassiano, near Rome; died Feb. 6, 1515, in Venice. Italian publisher and typographer. Renaissance scholar and humanist.

Aldus Manutius was the founder of the Aldine Press, which continued to operate for almost 100 years. Settling in Venice circa 1490, Manutius gathered around him Greek language experts to prepare editions of classical Greek authors. His largest edition consisted of the works of Aristotle in five volumes (1495-98), followed by the works of Aristophanes, Thucydides, Sophocles, Herodotus, Xenophon, Euripides, Demosthenes, Plutarch, and Plato, as well as editions of the letters of Greek philosophers and orators.

In 1499, Manutius published the War of Sleep and Love (Hypnerotomachia Poliphili) a work attributed to his contemporary Francesco Colonna. This edition is a masterpiece of printer’s art; the numerous woodcuts and beautiful type (antique) form a harmonious whole. From 1501, Manutius published collections of Roman classics in octavo form and for the first time printed in italics, a clear and capacious type that imitated the lettering of the documents issued by the papal office. Among the editions of Manutius were also the works of his contemporaries, such as Erasmus of Rotterdam. Manutius’ publications—the Aldines—were imitated and forged; to guard against this Manutius stamped his books with the firm’s hallmark, a dolphin entwined about an anchor.

In 1500, Manutius founded the New Academy (modeled after Plato’s Academy), whose members helped to collect and study the manuscripts of ancient authors and carefully prepared the texts of works to be printed. Manutius’ press was continued by his father-in-law, Andreas Torresanus, his son Paulus Manutius (1512-74), and his grandson Aldus Manutius, Junior (1547-97). Aldine editions are kept in the world’s largest libraries and in bibliophilic collections.


Katsprzhak, E. I. htoriia knigi Moscow, 1964.
Flocon, A. L’Univers des livres. Paris, 1961.
Kirchner, J. Lexikon des Buchwesens, vol. 2. Stuttgart, 1953.
Renouard, A. A. Annales de l’imprimerie des Aides, 3rd ed. Paris, 1834.
Seritti sopra Aldo Manuzio. Florence, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Aldus Manutius

1450--1515, Italian printer, noted for his fine editions of the classics. He introduced italic type
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
E si fa cenno anche ai formati, altro elemento importante d'immagine che in ogni epoca ha comunicato un'idea di libro in relazione ai vari generi letterari e ai modelli di lettura: come non ricordare, in proposito, l'enchiridio di Aldo Manuzio, progenitore di un'editoria colta e scaltrita?
Various anecdotes about famous scholars enliven the necessarily drier portions of the text: Giovanni Boccaccio was a "lackadaisical student" at Naples (45); Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, who would become Pius II, never completed his degree at the University of Siena (48-49); Aldo Manuzio the Younger, an inferior scholar and a poor teacher who lost students, was nevertheless courted by many universities desirous of his illustrious family library (63); lacking a degree, Galileo Galilei received a low salary at Pisa (75); humanist Guiniforte Barzizza was an early sort of "freeway flyer" as he bounced between Pavia and Milan at the whim of his Sforza patron (86-87).
(Here the discussion might have brought in Paul Needham's study of the paper stocks used by Aldo Manuzio.) Developing the work of codicologists such as Carla Bozzolo and Ezio Ornato, Cannata then brings in questions of layout and typeface, and seeks to explain why octavo editions with single-column texts proved more popular than quarto editions with the text in two columns, when the production costs of the two forms were similar.
Aldo Manuzio's Aldine Press, which popularized Jenson's roman type, was a fountainhead of the Renaissance, printing the Greek and Roman classics, the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, and textbooks for university students in law and medicine.
Professor Richardson very perceptively observes (103) that the bridge between classical and vernacular scholarship built by Aldo Manuzio was severed in the Venice of his son Paolo.
He was nephew to Pico della Mirandola, a student under Aldo Manuzio, a prince who had been forced from his patrimony by a relative, and a renowned diplomat as well as a humanist, theologian, and philosopher.
EatingOut Ristorante Piazza Repubblica Via Aldo Manuzio,11, Angolo Finocchiaro Aprile, 20124 Milan Close to the large international hotels, the clientele tends to be cosmopolitan but the food is Italian, albeit with a French accent.
Nella cerchia di amici ritroviamo alcune delle personalita intellettuali e letterarie dell'epoca: Ermolao Barbaro, Angelo Poliziano e Aldo Manuzio, per menzionare solo alcuni.
Cuna, instead, very interestingly traces the development of the first Greek texts printed before the days of Aldo Manuzio. Just as illuminating is the paper by Marco Villoresi on Michelangelo di Cristofano da Volterra.